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Subject: Scenario no.3 Ticinus River - History repeats again... rss

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Andrew Adey
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Scenario 2: River Ticinus. More repeats....

Once again, I offer to the gods an after action report for Command and Colors: Ancients. I hope you find it entertaining, my lords.

See my earlier session report to get the shorthand.

The Roman general could not believe his eyes. Stretched out in front of his line, was a large force of cavalry. Slower walking heavy horse in the enemy`s centre, and dashing black men on ponies on both wings, creating a dust storm from Hell itself. Though being Roman, Hell had not yet been invented. To his right flank ran the River Ticinus. He did not want to get caught with his back to that.

His own line consisted only of light infantry, fast and agile, armed with javelins, but fragile, and some medium cavalry on his wings.

MOVE 1:
Carthaginian card: DOUBLE TIME. Having no infantry at all, he chooses to get rid of this useless card just moving a single cavalry unit.
LC A2-C2

"Is that all?" thinks Scipio.

Roman card: ORDER 3 CENTRE
LI H8-G8
LI H7-G7
MC I8-H8 Scipio moves his own unit to maintain the continuity of his line. Remember, lines are crucial.

"Is that all?" think the 3 Carthaginian leaders.

The battle gets off to a slow start.

MOVE 2:
Carthaginian card: ORDER 4 RIGHT
LC B12-F12
LC A12-E12
LC A11-E11
LC B10-E10

The Carthaginian right wing trots forward and makes rude signs at it`s enemy. Shouts and chants fill the air. The Romans counter with taunts about the Carthaginians recent performance at the World Ass Kicking Olympics (WAKO) that season.

Roman card: ORDER 3 CENTRE
LI H6-G6
LI H5-G5
MC I6-H6

Scipio continues to coax his centre forward, keeping as much of a line as possible.

MOVE 3:
Carthaginian card: ORDER LIGHT TROOPS. This card allows all light infantry and light cavalry to move, up to the limit of command, ie the number of cards that player can hold. In this battle - 5.
LC C2-G3
LC B2-F3
LC B3-E4
LC A4-E5
LC E12-F11
LC G3 range MC I3 RESULT f. The MC must retreat BUT it cannot because it is already on it`s own base line! It must LOSE A BLOCK instead. Note if there were two units adjacent to this unfortunate unit, or a leader with it, the flag could be ignored. It has no leader and only one frindly unit nearby.
LC F3 range LI H4 RESULT b. No effect.
LC E4 range LI G5 RESULT g. LOSE ONE BLOCK.
LC E5 range LI G6 RESULT h. No effect.

The moral of this story is - do not allow any of your units to become trapped against your own baseline. But light horse moves SO fast that they can be upon you before two turns are out.

Roman card: ORDER 3 RIGHT
MC I3-H2
MC I4-H3
MC H2 combat LC(+leader) G3 RESULT evades. rhh. No effect. LC(+leader) evade to E2.
H4 range Lc F3 RESULT rs. No effect.

MOVE 4:
Carthaginian card: ORDER LIGHT TROOPS. Again! If you read my first report, these cards also both came out sequentially. The gods move in strange ways! Or I`d really better shuffle the deck properly.
LC F12-G12
LC F11-G11
LC E11-G10 making contact.
LC E10-F9
LC E2-F2
LC F2 range MC H2 RESULT f. Another flag, and the MC retreat to I3, but cannot retreat the remaining two hexes required of them, so LOSE 2 BLOCKS, one for each hex. THEY ARE DESTROYED. FIRST CARTHAGINIAN VICTORY BLOCK.
LC G12 range MC I11 RESULT r.
LC G11 range MC I10 RESULT r.
LC F9 range MC H8 RESULT g.
LC G10 combat LI H9 RESULT rs. ONE BLOCK LOST. LI H9 battles back RESULT hf. No effect as flag result is countered by the leader with the LC.

Roman card: MOVE-FIRE-MOVE (YARGH!! Why won`t rules writers say SHOOT? There was NO FIRE involved SHOOTING a bow, sling, or bunging a spear! Let me just take my medication....ah....that`s better....) This means each unit up to the command level (4 here) may move, then SHOOT, then move again.
LI G7-F7
LI F7 range LC F9 RESULT b. No effect.
LI G8 range LC G10 RESULT gs. ONE BLOCK LOST. Lader with unit rolled safely. A "helmet" result would have killed him.
LI G6 range LC E5 RESULT gg. TWO BLOCKS LOST.
LI G5 range LC E5 RESULT rb. No effect.
LI F7-G7 The second move allowed by the card.

MOVE 5:
Carthaginian card: DARKEN THE SKY All units able to shoot may shoot twice - but no movement.
LC G12 range MC I11 RESULT sf. ONE MC BLOCK LOST; because it cannot retreat any further, the flag kills a block.
LC G12 range MC I11 RESULT gh. No effect.
LC G11 range MC I10 RESULT gs. No effect.
LC G11 range MC I10 RESULT bs. No effect.
LC F9 range MC H8 RESULT gh. No effect.
LC F9 range MC H8 RESULT ss. No effect.
LC E5 range LI G6 RESULT gf. LOST ONE BLOCK and LI retreats to I6.
LC E5 range LI G6 RESULT gr. LOST ONE BLOCK.
LC E4 range LI G5 RESULT hh.
LC E4 range LI G5 RESULT gr. LOST ONE BLOCK.
LC F3 range LI H4 RESULT hb. No effect.
LC F3 range LI H4 RESULT sb. No effect.
LC F2 range MC H3 RESULT bb. TWO BLOCKS LOST.
LC F2 range MC H3 RESULT rf. Retreats, but cannot, so ONE BLOCK DESTROYED. UNIT DESTROYED. SECOND CARTHAGINIAN VICTORY BLOCK.

The Light cavalry earn their rations, inflicting great loss on the Roman army on each wing. Rome cannot get its cavalry off the basline making it very prone to losses through flag results, which if they cannot be satisfied by retreating, result in a block or two lost. Over half the Roman cavalry is now beaten, and off the battlefield.

This "Darken the Skies" card is lethal in the hands of an army rich is missile troops. Like this one.

Roman card: ORDER 2 UNITS LEFT
MC I11-H11
MC I10-H10
MC H11 combat LC G12, evades. RESULT bsg, ONE BLOCK LOST. LC evades to E13. By evading the Carthaginian general reduces the damage potential to his unit, but also prevents the enemy MC from makaing a momentum advance. Which holds it back near its own baseline again.
MC H10 combat G10, evades. RESULT rrr (that would have destroyed a HC unit!). LC evades to E10.

MOVE 6:
Carthaginian card: ORDER 3 CENTRE The haevy cavalry starts to move, preparing for a charge next move.
HC B8-D8
HC B7-D7
HC B6-D6

Roman card: ORDER 3 CENTRE
MC H6-G6
MC H8-G9
LI G5-H6 - Taken out of the line to protect this weak unit.
MC G9 combat LC F9, evades. RESULT ffb. ONE BLOCK DESTROYED. LC evades to D9. The flag result does not count as the LC was evading anyway.

MOVE 7:
Carthaginian card: MOUNTED CHARGE. Here it comes. All mounted units up to command (5) may be ordered, and if they Close Combat, add one to their dice numbers. PLUS heavy units may move 3 and still battle. Perfect.
HC D8-F8
HC D7-F7
HC D6-F6
HC B5-F6 Left behind by the previous order card, this unit now starts to roll. Maybe they didn`t hear the order first time around. You know, bugles, explosions, shrapnel flying around, that sort of thing.
LC F3 range LI H4 RESULT fb. Retreats to I5, but can only move one of the two hexes demanded, so LOSES A BLOCK.
HC F8 combat MC G9 result bbsgg. WHOLE UNIT DESTROYED. CARTHAGINIAN THIRD VICTORY BLOCK. Note 5 dice rolled; an extra for the Mounted Charge card effect. HC F8 then momentum moves into G9 and combat LI H9 RESULT ggshh THREE BLOCKS DESTROYED, ie UNIT DESTROYED. CARTHAGINIAN FOURTH VICTORY BLOCK. 2 units destoryed by one HC unit in 1 turn. Impressive.
HC F7 combat LI G8 gbhfr TWO BLOCKS DESTROYED. and LI retreat to I8.
HC F6 combat LI G7 RESULT rrbhh TWO BLOCKS DESTROYED. The helmet results count as a leader is adjacent. LI G7 battles back RESULT sf ONE HC BLOCK DESTROYED and HC retreats back to D6.

The light infantry manage to drive off the nearby cavalry, but both front lines are now in tatters, and the Romans are close to defeat. The Roman general made an entry in his diary - it simply read "Bugger".

Roman card: ORDER 2 CENTRE
MC G6-F6
MC F6 combat HC F7. Both leaders are involved! RESULT rhf TWO BLOCKS LOST and HC retreats, but the retreat may be ignored due to a leader being present. However, the leader allows the retreat anyway to move his weaken HC unit away from more enemey attacks. Retreats to D7.
MC F6 make a momantum advance to G8 and combat HC G9 RESULT grb ONE BLOCK LOST. Carthaginian HC G9 battle back RESULT ggbb TWO BLOCKS LOST!

The Romans have now overstretched themselves.

MOVE 8:
Carthaginian card: MOUNTED CHARGE. Again the Carthaginian pulls two powerful cards out one after another.
HC D6-F7
HC D5-F6
LC F2-H4
LC F3-H5
HC F7 combat G8 RESULT brrgf, DESTRYING REMAINING MC. Leader roll hh!!!!!!!!!!!! LEADER KILLED TOO. CARTHAGINIAN FIFTH AND SIXTH VICTROY BLOCKS.

Carthage wins.

Carthage had many good cards well suited to the light cavalry. Two "Move Light Troops" and 2 "Mounted Charge" and "Darken the Sky" were the key. Rome did not stand much of a chance, having few really useful cards and never really getting started. No Roman unit even made it into the Carthaginian half of the battlefield. The light cavalry are very powerful on the flanks, and because of the evasion rules, are difficult to catch. Once again a fairly historical result, only with the added feature of the death of the Roman leader. In reality he escaped wounded.
 
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Sean McCormick
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I'm loving your reports. Just a note on retreats- a unit that cannot retreat loses a blocks for each retreat space, not each flag result, so a cavalry unit trapped against the back of the board loses three blocks and is completely destroyed.
 
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Andrew Adey
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Ah! Yes, you are correct. Thanks for that one on retreats. So, the Romans would have lost even faster in this one then.

Ho-hum.

On to scenario 4....
 
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